Wednesday, Sep 20, 2023

Fairfax Adopts New Reston Comprehensive Plan

On September 13, 2023, after nearly four years of civic engagement and more than 60 virtual and in-person meetings, the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors adopted major updates to the Reston Comprehensive Plan.

Much of the updated plan, which constitutes the first such major update since 2015 and applies to all of Reston, was drafted by a citizen-led task force in coordination with staff.

The plan carries forward the prior plan’s emphasis on higher intensity mixed-use development in the Transit Station Areas and, with few exceptions, does not make substantive changes to those areas.

At the same time, the updated plan recommends maintaining existing residential densities in Reston’s village centers and, with the exception of Tall Oaks and Lake Anne, eliminates options for residential redevelopment for non-residential portions of the village centers absent a subsequent comprehensive plan amendment (which, the plan says, should be limited to 20 units per acre).

In terms of housing affordability, the plan retains the Reston-specific sliding scale affordability recommendations (with a minimum of 12 percent WDUs), but brings the Area Median Income tiers in-line with countywide policy.

In terms of environmental sustainability, the updated plan recommends land use applicants reduce the volume of runoff of the two-year, 24-hour storm by 30 percent from the predevelopment runoff amount at ultimate buildout. The plan also acknowledges that while achievement of LEED Silver certification for new development is the Countywide policy, land use applicants should be encouraged to achieve higher certification levels.

The updated plan also includes language related to evaluating community health and equity in land use decisions, reducing density in non-Transit Oriented Development areas, and introducing new open space principles.

With adoption of the updated plan, it is anticipated that attention will now turn towards reviewing the myriad Reston Site-Specific Plan Amendments, most of which are located within or proximate to Reston’s Transit Station Areas.

More information can be found on the plan amendment’s project webpage, found here.

The final adopted text may be found in the Board’s meeting package, beginning on Page 224 of the Board’s meeting package, found here.